The Company has currently sent a proposal to the HRD Ministry regarding the establishment of free Wi-Fi services to connect nearly 38,000 colleges under the Ministry of Human Resource Development. According to a report by Hindustan Times, a presentation has already been given by Reliance Jio to the ministry for the consideration of this proposal, and the company awaits the final decision as of now.
This is one of the rare cases where a private sector company has approached a government ministry and provided such an offer. Free access to Wi-Fi services would open a new world of services for the students. According to reports, there are only a few universities shortlisted to get the free Wi-Fi services from Reliance Jio:
- Aligarh Muslim University
- Banaras Hindu University
- Central University, Jammu
- Central University, Himachal Pradesh
- Central University, South Bihar
- Delhi University
- Jamia Milia Islamia University
Over 3 crore students stand to benefit from this move if it’s implemented. As Mukesh Ambani had said in the 2016 AGM of Reliance “We are at the beginning of an era where data is the new oil”. Internet data has become an essential resource in today’s world, and in developing countries like India, the need for people to use its power is a prime need. Decades ago, the use of computers replaced the maintenance and storage of data in the physical paper form. Just like that, the age of internet might gradually decrease the use of textbooks and knowledge material in the form of papers.
With the introduction of digital education initiatives like Swayam and the National Digital Library, the students have much more resources available for studies. It’s actually a shame that the Indian government itself has not been able to provide such schemes despite promoting various digital education initiatives, as these initiatives would be of no use without proper access to internet services. The improvement in internet connectivity across various regions of India made possible through Jio’s services is an indication towards a better future where the whole country would be able to understand and use the internet and be able to harness its power to educate themselves and help in the growth and development of our country.